English Language
Word and Phrase Origins
English to Latin

What is the origin of English words?


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Answered 2009-10-01 12:30:46

I assume you mean the English Language. As far as I know most of the English language stems from Latin


Most of the words in everyday use in English are of Anglo-Saxon origin, which in turn is derived from West Germanic.


German is known as the cousin of English, however, the German tribes kept the Latin syntax and threw away most but not all the meanings. The "Romantic" languages kept the meanings and in the general case lost the syntax, it is possible to end a sentence with a preposition but it isn't common practice. Words were added, by the Greek and other learned languages to aid the concept of ideas or desciptions. In the case of English words were added to by any other languages that were encountered during the British Empire building days, such as Khaki, char, kayak (sometimes kaiak) etc.

The Germanic based languages are generally more descriptive of function e.g. a dictionary is Worterbuch, literally word book, Mittwoch being Wednesday (middle of the week, unlike the English Wodens day) not only that, the nouns in German take capitalisation (upper case) as the first letter. Similar to English but in some ways subtley different. Likewise there are also gender nouns, like French, in the language. There are a few in English such as a ship or boat is always female although it may carry a males' name.

Unlike some languages English is infinitely expandable as it borrows from others. French, German most European languages have enhanced it over the years. French is regarded as the language of diplomacy, while English is the language of commerce.

Hope this in helps in some ways a good dictionary of etymology might aid further study.


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